The closure of Arcelor Mittal's Saldanha Works steel plant threatens the direct employment of over 1 000 people and could cost the broader local economy at least 4 000 jobs.
Arcelor Mittal is expected to close their steel plant due to the rising expense of electricity, plummeting global steel prices and poor demand.
Member of Provincial Legislature Beverley Schafer confirmed that the steel plant is competing with Chinese import prices and is likely to close if no interventions are secured.
They said they would only operate until July and that the threat of jobs was looming. So we assume that it is a very real risk that we face in the West Coast.— Beverley Schafer, Chairperson of the Provincial Standing Committee on Economic Development
Schafer says there have been discussions about using the steel plant as a preferred company within the forming Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ).
Listen to the full conversation from CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies: